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Now onto my favorite scenario. While this one is unlikely, it's not as unlikely as people think.
This is where the Vikings win numerous close games, instead of losing all of them like they did last year. Ten of the team's 13 loses were by seven points or less. So with even a small improvement, the record could have been much different.
With at least four new starters on defense (Letroy Guion, Jasper Brinkley, Mistral Raymond, Harrison Smith) and two returning starters who missed most of last season (Cris Cook and Antoine Winfield), the defense could be entirely different.
The offense also has four expected new starters (Matt Kalil, Geoff Schwartz, Jerome Simpson, and Kyle Rudolph) and one player moving to a new position (Charlie Johnson). This team could make waves.
"Anthem for the Underdog" would be the perfect song for this scenario. The title alone should be enough to describe the Vikings having a winning season, but the lyrics were spot on in many places too.
The opening lines could become very fitting. "You say you know just who I am, but you can't imagine" is basically saying you have no idea what this team is capable of, and they will surprise.
"I'm tired of backing down" would speak towards the team's disgust of last season. They hated losing as much as fans hated seeing them lose. With all the new blood in the locker room, things could and should be different.
"Feeling the pain of a thousand hearts" could describe all the fans that were let down the past two seasons. Obviously there are more than a thousand fans, but it gets the point across. Fans are sick of seeing the team lose, and management made changes to fix it.
In order for the team to reach this lofty scenario, a lot of things have to go right. Ponder needs to look like a solid quarterback. Peterson needs to fully return. Rudolph and Simpson need to step into their new roles gracefully.
The defensive line needs to continue to play great, and the offensive line needs to start to play great. Our linebackers need to impress, and the overall defense needs to show they improved.
I think it is possible for the team to do this, but not necessarily likely. They may be another year away still. But if the team can get everything together, the Vikings could be the underdogs that sneak our way into the elite talent this season.